Nintendo wins legal piracy battle in France


France has joined an ever expanding list of countries that are beginning to take a strong legal stance towards video game piracy.

The Paris Court of Appeals issued guilty verdicts on September 26th against Divineo SARL and five other companies for the importation, sale and distribution of game copier devices (probably more recognisable as R4 or Magicom cards).

Along with such verdicts, the Court has imposed over 460,000 Euro in criminal fines, damages payable to Nintendo in excess of 4.8 million Euros and, in some instances, ordered suspended prison terms.

Such a decision by the Court of Appeals represents a strong message to French companies dealing in these devices: that such activities are illegal and will not be tolerated. Those who are caught risk prison terms, face substantial fines and obligations to pay damages.

This case has involved some of the most prolific importers, distributors and sellers of these devices, with raids previously made in December 2007 and November 2008 across a number of locations in Paris, Marseille and Strasbourg resulting in the seizure of several thousand game copier devices.

Nintendo would like to thank everyone in the law enforcement and prosecution agencies involved in this case for their invaluable support.

“Nintendo supported this criminal action not only for the company’s sake, but for the interests of its game developer partners who spend time and money legitimately developing software for Nintendo’s game platforms, and customers who expect the highest standards and integrity from products bearing the Nintendo name,” commented Stephan Bole, Managing Director of Nintendo France.

This decision now brings France in line with other European territories, including the Netherlands, UK, Germany, Italy and Belgium, based on decisions they already have rendered.

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